Cycling’s best moments always come back to memories and ideals of war and combat -– a mood that’s readily suggested by the photos and recap of the Crusher. The sport is full of riders who if they were in combat boots and fatigues, would be ranked from general to private, along with a gallery of spies, traitors, snipers and medics. But unlike war, which is hell, in sports there isn’t nearly as much at stake.
In our pursuit of transcendental cycling, we do come close to putting it all on the line. I call it riding the razor edge –– when you’re hours from home, freezing, dehydrated, broken down, busted chain, whatever. In those situations you come to a recognition of what you’ve got inside of you. If it means striking on and pedaling forward to a finish line or just back home and a cold Coca-Cola, well, that’s a victory.
The Crusher Tushar seems like one of those events. Ride through terrible conditions, take some years off your life, but come out of the whole thing feeling like you won even if you came in last place. That’s the best part of cycling: sometimes our worst performances feel like our best. If not, most of us would have quit a long time ago.